Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GLC Calls For Ecological Separation To Stop Asian Carp

Feb 23: The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has called on Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to embrace a clear goal of ecological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds as the key, permanent strategy in the war against Asian carp and their threatened invasion of the Great Lakes. The resolution, approved by the Commission, asks Congress to provide the Corps with authority and substantial resources to complete the study of ecological separation -- defined as prevention of the movement of invasive species between the watersheds -- and to accelerate completion of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal portion of the study to September 2011.

    The resolution also calls for accelerating the timetable for full operation of the Asian carp barrier system on the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal and to establish structural measures to prevent the inadvertent introduction of Asian carp from floodwaters of the Des Plaines River into the canal, and ultimately the Great Lakes. The action took place at the Commission's 2010 Semiannual Meeting in Washington, DC where the eight member states of the Commission, along with associate Canadian member provinces of Ontario and Québec, voiced consensus on the need to inhibit further movement of Asian carp northward to the Great Lakes.

    In other Commission business, implementation and ongoing support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) were key focal points of the Great Lakes Commission's federal legislative priorities for FY 2011, formally released at the meeting. The Commission's federal priorities, outlined in the publication "Fulfilling the Promise for the Great Lakes: Advancing Great Lakes Restoration and Economic Revitalization," are largely driven by the GLRI's five focus areas: aquatic invasive species, contaminated sediments, nonpoint source pollution, degraded wetlands and threatened fish and wildlife resources. Enacted by Congress with full funding of $475 million for FY 2010, the GLRI is planned as a five-year program to restore and protect the Great Lakes. The Administration has proposed funding at a level of $300 million for FY 2011. The complete GLC 2011 legislation program is available from the Commission's website indicated below.
    Access a release from GLC (click here). Access links to the Resolution details (click here, to be posted soon). Access the GLC FY11 Legislative Priorities (click here).

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